After Effects Apprentice is created by Trish and Chris Meyer and designed to be used on their own and as a companion to their book After Effects Apprentice.
- Starting a project from scratch
- Building a composition
- Arranging and transforming layers interactively and numerically
- Animating parameters including motion paths
- Applying and re-using effects
- Creating variations and rendering the final movie
- Importing layered Photoshop files
- Understanding alpha channels
- Avoiding common mistakes
Skill Level Beginner
- Hi, I'm Trish Meyer of Crish Design, and welcome to lesson one in the After Effects Apprentice series. In this basic animation lesson, you learn how to create a simple project from scratch. I'll show you how to create a composition, import sources, and then animate their position, scale, rotation, and opacity, and to add a little jazz, we'll also apply a few effects. When we finish the project we'll render the animation as a QuickTime movie. Then I'll encourage you to create variations in a section we call Idea Corner.
In the second half of this lesson I'll go into more detail on some of the features I introduced earlier, such as creating motion paths, arranging layers, importing layered files, and working with alpha channels. I've designed this lesson as a gentle introduction to animating in After Effects for someone who is completely new to the program. My goal is to get you started on the right path from day one. So in addition to good working practices, I'll also cover mistakes that beginners, and sometimes even advanced users tend to make.
By the way, I'll be using version CS5, but virtually all of these features have existed for some time. As I go along I'll point out anything that's new in CS5 as well as differences from CS4. So let's get started by first looking at the animation you're going to create.